I was unsurprised to read in today’s Journal that problems are arising with the government’s plans to build upon Brownfield sites. The simple truth is that we do not even know exactly want land is available and what each site is suitable for. Without this knowledge it is virtually impossible to create widespread, long-term plans. This is why UKIP argue that the Environment Agency must create a National Brownfield Sites Register and provide a remediation assessment where appropriate.
One of the issues with this process (as highlighted by the Journal story) is that we are currently working based upon private assessments and estimation. In order to develop an effective national building plan we need to know what land is available. Creating this register will allow the government, councils and developers to know exactly what land is available and what this land is suitable for.
We are faced by a crippling housing shortage that is having a significant impact of property and recent prices, less stable tenancies and rising homelessness. Just to keep up with demand the UK needs to be building a new house every seven minutes.
The current situation is completely unsustainable and we need to urgently embark upon a major house building programme. However, how on earth can anyone even try to come up with a credible plan to address this crisis if we do not even know exactly what resources are available?
We need to create a Brownfield Sites Register so that we can finally come up with a strategy to address this long running issue that is causing so many issues all across the UK.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East